The UN has recently released its alarmist projections of the world’s population for the year 2100.
The global body is preparing us for the worst – the world is going to be vastly
overpopulated unless something is done. The answer to this overpopulation “problem”
seems to be more contraception and more abortions.

However, the German government is taking a different path.  It plans to give more money to fund IVF for people who can’t otherwise
have children and to cut down the bureaucracy that stands in the way of
families who want to adopt. I can see that this is not going to go down well at
the UN. Encouraging people to have children!? This is madness – haven’t the
Germans seen the population projections?? Don’t they care about the planet??
Won’t they think of the (hopefully non-existent, because there will be too many
of them) children!?

The thing is that Germany is suffering, like the rest of the
Western world and China and Japan, from an ageing population and a lack of replacement babies. No babies means no
workers to support an ever increasing dependent elderly population. Will the plan
to expand taxpayer funding of IVF to potentially half of the cost of the treatment
help reverse these trends in Germany? The (suitably pregnant) German family minister,
Kristina Schröder, explained
the policy in a way which suggested that it was less about demography and more
about people’s “right” to a family:


“…Mrs. Schröder, said she found it ’intolerable’ that
couples wanted children but couldn’t afford the cost of medical treatment.  In an interview with Germany’s Sueddeutsche
Zeitung she went on; ‘We rarely talk about it, but most people know friends or
relatives who have this misfortune.’”

However, the fact that the country is prepared to fund more babies
suggests that the German government does not see children merely as a
burden on the future, but instead as something positive, something that it
would be a “misfortune” to be without.

Let us hope that the government now goes
further and starts asking why so few German women are willing to have babies
naturally or unnaturally. Let us hope that making it easier for adoption
provides another avenue for mothers with unwanted pregnancies and therefore fewer
abortions. Finally, let us also hope that Germany, and the rest of the world,
wakes up and realises that we should celebrate children as a valuable gift and
a blessing, and not an impediment to our lifestyle (current and future). Only then will desperately
low birthrates start to rise.

Marcus Roberts was two years out of law school when he decided that practising law was no longer for him. He therefore went back to university and did his LLM while tutoring. He now teaches contract and...